Born In: Panama
Education: Graduation from United States Naval Academy (1958), National War College (1974)
Career: U.S. Representative (1983-1987), U.S. Senator (1987-till date)
John Sidney McCain III, born on 29 Aug’ 1936 in Panama, is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. Recently he fetched the limelight, when he was nominated as the candidate for the President of the United States by Republican Party for the impending 2008 elections.
McCain's childhood started at a military base, Coco Solo Naval Air Station in Panama. He has Scots-Irish and English descent. John had admiral blood in his veins seeing that his father and grandfather, both were admirals in the Navy of the U.S. As his father was bound to various naval postings, the little boy had to attend about 20 different schools. In 1951, the family finally settled in Northern Virginia and John joined Episcopal High School in Alexandria. From very beginning, he was short-tempered and had an aggressive drive to contend. Like his father, he joined the United States Naval Academy and finally graduated in 1958.
At Pensacola, John began his training as a naval aviator when he was commissioned as ensign. In 1960, he graduated from flight school and became a naval pilot of attack aircraft. He spent numerous years on the aircraft carriers, USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise. He lived on two airplane crashes during his training and deployments. In July 1965, John McCain married Carol Shepp, who was a model from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The couple adopted two children-Doug and Andy, and had a daughter-Sidney (in 1966).
In 1967, during the Vietnam War, John saw death from close in the Forrestal fire, where he was shot down. He then suffered for years as a prisoner of war, together with periods of torture, prior to his release following the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. After his return to the United States, he underwent treatments for his bad injuries and entered the National War College (1973-74) in Washington simultaneously. His family life got disturbed with all the past events and it almost came to extent of ruin. In 1977, McCain resume his services and served as the Navy’s liaison to the U.S. Senate.
By 1980, he obtained a divorce from his wife and married Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, in the same year. Presuming his weak prospects, he retired from the Navy in 1981. McCain relocated to Arizona and entered politics. He was nominated to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s 1st congressional district in 1982. By the year 1986, he was selected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona. In the year 1992, 1998, and 2004, John McCain was re-elected for Senator.
He got the status of a political ‘maverick’ for his enthusiasm to confront Republican orthodoxy on several issues, while adhering to American conservatism. After enduring the Keating Five scandal of the 1980s, he made operation finance reform one of his cross concerns, which finally resulted into the passing of the McCain-Feingold Act (2002). In the 2000 presidential election, McCain was a contender for the Republican recommendation, however, was defeated by George W. Bush.
John was the Republican leader as the cycle started in the 2008 presidential election cycle. In mid-2007, his campaign suffered owing to financial issues, and his support for all-inclusive immigration reform. Later in 2007, he made a comeback. During Jan’2008, he won many key primaries that again brought him as the Republican front-runner. His lead was thickened by numerous victories on Super Tuesday in February. As and when Mitt Romney, the closest contender, withdrew from the cycle on 4 Mar’ 2008; John McCain got enough delegates to become the strong nominee.